ROCKTOBERFEST: A Most Excellent Countdown of the 31 Most Bitchin Glam Metal Albums
#17 Def Leppard – Hysteria (Released 1987) 12x Platinum #1 Billboard Albums
Joe Elliot (C'mon, What the fuck happened to your pants?) – Vocals
Phil Collen (*Yawn* Insert boring solo) – Lead Guitar
Steamin Steve Clark (Uncanny resemblance to Dave Mustaine) – Rhythm Guitar
Rick Savage (He looks like such a bass player) - Bass
Rick Allen (I got one fuckin arm, seriously try to make fun of me) – Drums
What has Nine Arms and Rocks? DEF LEPPARD!!!
If there is one thing I have learned from Def Leppard is when in doubt is harmonize EVERYTHING and if you cant harmonize it well then fuckin reverb and echo the shit out of it.
I remember being 15 years old and this album always takes me back to my high school days in 1987 erm 2004. I was just wearing out this cassette erm I mean downloaded songs in my Gold Trans Am erm via my mix CD in my mom’s mini van. Yeah listening to this with Joan in the backseat of my car erm I mean listening to this alone while reading pro wrestling newsites. Yeah I had weird childhood. Every youtube commenter seems to have more bitchin memories associated with this album then I do. In all seriousness, I do have great memories associated with this album and for a brief period of time, Def Leppard was my favorite band. Until I learned of this band called Motley Crue that fuckin blew them out of the water. Yes, Def Lep’s overly-produced, glossy pop-sheen brand of metal has worn on me over the years. I do prefer their New Wave of British Heavy Metal album, High N Dry and cross-over album, Pyromania more, but there will always be a special place in my heart for Hysteria. I still remember singing the chorus to Pour Some Sugar On Me down the hallways of the school completely oblivious to how dated and uncool I must have sounded. Nobody does pop metal or big arena metal better than Def Leppard. It is reflected in album sales going 12x platinum in the USA alone and 20 million albums sold worldwide that’s a fuckin lot of albums.The album had a total of seven singles more than any other 80's metal album from the time period. The goal of the album was to make the rock version of Michael Jackson's Thriller and I would have to say they achieved that level of superstardom in the late 1980's.
The album includes the generation-transcending and ULTIMATE stripper anthem, Pour Some Sugar On Me. Warrant’s Cherry Pie gives it a run for its money, but I know when I am looking to strip, this is my song of choice. When I was a kid before I could figure out to download songs without being afraid I might break the computer, all I had to listen to was my dad’s songs, which were pretty bitchin in all honesty. My dad prefers 1970’s hard rock, but being in his 20’s throughout the 80’s still had some 80’s metal downloaded. I, a young 8 year old, immediately gravitated to band such as Van Halen and Scorpions (Rock You Like A Hurricane is the song I play before every exam I ever take), but among the songs on the computer was Pour Some Sugar On Me and it was an instant and I definitely made a fool of myself more than once in front of family “dancing” to this ditty. Hell, my favorite memory from my senior prom was when they played this song and finally I could play some air guitar, band my head (not really a headbanging song, but god damnit, after listening to Cascada for the umpteenth time it felt like a thrash song) and let out “Metal Martin”. Once again, everyone has heard this song so no point in reviewing it. Anyways, Joe has some of the worst phrasing in glam metal. On Pour Some Sugar On Me, I always thought that the opening lyric was “Yeah we like the bong.” (Incidentally that’s how I found what a bong was because I asked my dad, who is very open up that kind of shit). Anyways it is “Love is like a bomb”. Unfortunately, I cannot find the music video on youtube, which is a true travesty someone should remedy immediately. Who do I contact about this?
Next up mostly because of the hilarious back-story is Armageddon It, which is a horrible play on words. Say it out loud and fast and you will get it. Faster, I say, faster. So honestly I never really understood the lyrics to Armageddon It. So one night, Ed and I are watching Metal Mania (this was typical occurrence freshman year) and the music video comes on. I go to Ed, fuck it, I can still not understand one fuckin word he says. I think the friggin chorus is “Are you a girly man? Yes I am a girly man.” Ed discerned it to be correctly, “Are you a getting it? Yes I am a getting it.” Needless to say, I still crack up when this one comes on the radio (which it does pretty often surprisingly) or on the MP3 player. I have just always wondered what the fuck was up with Joe’s pants. Hilariously enough, I ran into a guy dressed up as Joe at the Steel Panther concert last night. How did I know he was dressed as Joe? Because his pants was so overly-shredded you wonder did you fight a fuckin Panther before coming here? He was very glad some of my age was a true student of the game and recognized the immediate connection. What can I say I am a glam metal music video junkie. Speaking of Steel Panther, who released a very Def Lepp-y song as their first single, If You Really Really Love Me, if they want to do a really funny song mocking Def Lep, they should do a whole song with layered vocal harmony. I think the Panther could make this sound totally bitchin.
Next up is Def Lep’s ode to Glam Rock, Rocket, one of my favorites with a grooving beat and those absolutely sugary-sweet harmonized gang-vocals that get me everytime. All the song lyrics are allusions to 1970’s glam rock stars and glam rock songs. One common trope of glam rock is outer space, which is the song is called Rocket. Two funny points from this song. First, fuckin eh, Joe, mullets are never cool and you are totally why people think of mullets when they think of glam metal. Second, everytime, either my brother or I absolutely launch a ball long when we are playing tennis. We sing in perfect Def Lep harmony (ok maybe we are bit pitchy): ROCKET! Dum Yeah! Satellite of Love. Yep we are wicked weird.
Next up is a really unconventional song for a glam metal band and is one of my favorite songs off the album the title track, Hysteria. It is much better than the formulaic power ballad, Love Bites, this one sounds so much more hearfelt. It is more a ballad, but still has the big guitar hooks on the chorus, just a really unique sounding song. I am in love with the pre-chorus, “I got to know tonight, if you are alone tonight” as much as I was in high school as I am now. While he is singing that there is a great three-note acoustic guitar chord-hook that is so killer. Then add in those sweeeeeeet harmonized background vocals. Goddamn, this song is definitely one of the best songs Def Lep has ever written and one of the better melodic solos by the guitar team, Steamin Steve does most of the heavy lifting on this track. I don’t always just love big rock anthems and metal burners. I like the occasional emotional song and this one is really well-done.
We end with an old-school favorite of mine, Animal, which was on the original setlist my dad downloaded when I was 8. Damn I have been listening to this song for 14 years that’s pretty crazy song. This is great mid-tempo rock song, with a great grooving rhythm section. The chorus is just addictive and the number one hook of the song with great double-tracked vocals from Joe and then hyper-harmonized gang-vocals that makes Def Lep is lovable.
So any true Def Lep fan knows that if a drinking game was played during a Def Lep where you had to drink everytime Joe said C’mon you would be blasted by song #3. I was surprised it took until 2008 for Def Leppard to write a song called, “C’mon C’mon” considering how much Joe fancies it as a transition between verses, choruses, solos, bridges. He uses it everywhere. C’mon! Go listen to Hysteria and fuckin have yourself an old school heavy metal party. POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME! Because I am hot, sticky sweet. Trust me honey, I will make you hot, STICKY and sweet. WOOOOOO!